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Monday, February 22, 2016

Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day: 6 of Evidence

The Sherlock Holmes Card of the Day is:
(6 of Wands)

In The Sherlock Holmes Tarot by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan (Sterling Ethos), the suit of Evidence (represented by a shoe print) is comparable to the suit of Wands. The quotation chosen to represent the entire suit of Evidence is from The Copper Beeches: “Data! Data! Data! I can make no bricks without clay!”

The Holmesian Wisdom for the 6 of Evidence is: “What one man can invent another can discover.” This quote is from “The Adventure of the Dancing Men.” In this story, Mr. Hilton Cubitt of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk visits Sherlock Holmes and gives him a piece of paper with this mysterious sequence of stick figures that look like dancing men.

Holmes often works for (and receives rewards from) Very Important People. On the 6 of Evidence, we see “a high-ranking personage offering a small case containing a gift for Holmes – gracious thanks from His Majesty,” the King of Bohemia (from “A Scandal in Bohemia”).

Keys for this card, upright, are: “victory, intuitive self-confidence, advancement through growth, pride in achievement, recognition, ceremonial honours.” Reversed meanings: “treachery, caution, foresight, lack of movement, hope deferred.”

The book that accompanies this deck also provides interpretations for each card under the headings “The Game” and “The Fog.” The former elaborates on the upright keys, while the latter expands on reversed meanings.

An example from “The Game” for the 6 of Evidence: “Advancement realized through steady growth. Pride in achievement or promotion. . . Recognition assures your popular status. You share your skills to benefit others.”

Examples from “The Fog”: “Brief rewards. Arrogance shadows your achievements. . . Bathing in reflected glory. Observing the achievements of others to duplicate their success.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

Revisiting (Again) the Closing on Mom's House

I know you have all been waiting with bated breath for the latest installment in the Saga of Mom’s House Sale. If you remember our last episode, the closing did not take place before December 31, 2015. On January 28 I asked the cards if it would take place by February 15. Click HERE to see that reading.

Well, that didn’t happen either. The cards did not say it would. They suggested it was possible, with two “Yes” cards and one “No” card.

The latest word from the real estate agent is that the loan underwriter is still “working on” the seller’s loan.” Apparently the person who had been working on the loan has been fired. A new, supposedly “more experienced” person is now working on it.

Today I am asking, “Will the closing take place by the end of February?”

Let’s see what the Gilded Reverie Lenormand by Ciro Marchetti (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) can tell us. As you may remember, cards from a red suit indicate "yes", whereas cards from a black suit indicate "no.")

CHILD (13 / Jack of Spades / No)
MAN (28 / Ace of Hearts / Yes)
FOX (14 / Nine of Clubs / No)

Oh dear. This time the cards are leaning towards a “Probably not” answer. Not what I wanted to hear at all.

With the mood I am in about this matter, I am seeing the Child as saying that my hopes for a closing by the end of this month are “childish” or “na├»ve.” I keep believing that it is going to happen, but it doesn’t.

The Man could be the new, more experienced underwriter. He may be more experienced, but apparently is still not terribly fast.

Finally, the Fox shows up, hinting at trickery, deception, or manipulation. Who is the Fox? The lender? The buyer? The real estate agent? It’s all rather unpleasant to contemplate!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey

Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey
February 8, 2016 - January 27, 2017

Here at Tarot Notes, I often write about astrology, another keen interest of mine. Mostly I write about Western astrology and the zodiac signs in that system. However, since the Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey began on February 8 of this year, I thought it might be fun to look into that a bit.

Unlike Western astrology, where we have twelve zodiac signs each year, in Chinese astrology we have just one sign that covers a 12-month period. Notice I didn’t say it covers “a year.” You see, the Chinese New Year does not start on January 1 like the Western New Year. It can begin anywhere from late January to mid-February – so people born in January or February need to be extra-careful about determining their Chinese zodiac sign.

In other words, those placemats you see in Chinese restaurants can be misleading for people with January or February birthdays. And it’s not 100% correct to say that 2016 (the entire year) is the Year of the Fire Monkey. This year (2016), the Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey begins on February 8 and ends on January 27, 2017. Therefore, only people born during that time frame are Fire Monkey people. A baby born between February 19, 2015, and February 7, 2016, is a Wood Goat (or Sheep or Ram, depending on what you decide to call it), NOT a Fire Monkey.

photo by Zanna Starr
Now that we have that straight, let’s look at how these signs are derived.

In Chinese astrology there are five elements: jin (metal), mu (wood), shui (water), huo (fire), tu (earth); and twelve animal signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

I’ve already explained that the animal signs cover a 12-month period beginning in late January or mid-February. Each animal sign is further divided into the five elements. Here is the breakdown for Monkey years:

Metal Monkey (1920, 1980)
Wood Monkey (1944, 2004)
Water Monkey (1932, 1992)
Fire Monkey (1956, 2016)
Earth Monkey (1908, 1968)

There is a whole lot more to Chinese astrology than this, but my purpose here is simply to give a very rough, broad overview to help my readers understand a little more about it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cycle of the Year Reading

One of my Tarot students over at _The Magical Circle School_ used this spread for an assignment, and I realized that I had never done it for myself. With my interest in astrology, I knew I would enjoy the zodiac sign designations for the twelve positions.

The spread is called “The Cycle of the Year – Variation 1” and it can be found in the Complete Book of Tarot Spreads by Evelin Burger and Johannes Fiebig (Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.) The positional definitions in this spread are based on the Sun Sign “Mottos” used by many astrologers, they are as follows:

  • Aries: I AM
  • Taurus: I HAVE
  • Gemini: I THINK
  • Cancer: I FEEL
  • Leo: I WILL
  • Virgo: I ANALYZE
  • Libra: I BALANCE
  • Scorpio: I DESIRE
  • Sagittarius: I SEE
  • Capricorn: I USE
  • Aquarius: I KNOW
  • Pisces: I BELIEVE

For this reading, I am using the Elemental Tarot with artwork by Marco Turini (Lo Scarabeo) Here is the layout:

Positional Definitions

(1) The Aries in me. What I am and how I am.
(2) The Taurus in me. What I have and how I own it.
(3) The Gemini in me. What I think and how I think.
(4) The Cancer in me. What I feel and how I feel it.
(5) The Leo in me. What I desire and how I choose it.
(6) The Virgo in me. What I analyze and how I resolve it.
(7) The Libra in me. What I balance and how I balance it.
(8) The Scorpio in me. What I demand and how I demand it.
(9) The Sagittarius in me. What I see and how I see it.
(10) The Capricorn in me. What I gain and how I benefit from it.
(11) The Aquarius in me. What I know and how I know it.
(12) The Pisces in me. What I believe and how I believe it.

I shuffled the deck thoroughly, then drew 12 cards in a row right off the top. Here we go!

(1) The Aries in me. What I am and how I am.
JUSTICE (Trump 8) – Very nice. Look at that fiery red dress and confident posture. The woman on this card is quite sure of what she is and how she is. What I am and how I am reflects the Law of Reciprocity – as I give, so I receive, always maintaining a balanced flow of energy. Through my actions, I am in control. This is a very “Aries” attitude, I must say.

(2) The Taurus in me. What I have and how I own it.
SIX OF CHALICES – In this deck, the Six of Chalices is the card of “Experienced Love.” In my past and present (and hopefully future) I do have love (experienced love) and I own it by practicing it and dedicating myself to constant improvement.

(3) The Gemini in me. What I think and how I think.
SEVEN OF PENTACLES – My thoughts and manner of thinking involve a quiet, steady “nurturing” quality that allows me to think carefully and evaluate things without rushing. This card is called “Protecting a seed,” and that is what I do with ideas that come to me.

(4) The Cancer in me. What I feel and how I feel it.
FOUR OF CHALICES – A deeply “feeling” card comes forward in this position, one that is called “Searching love” in this deck. There is indeed always a sense of “searching” for me when it comes to what I feel and how I feel it. It’s a process, a journey, a voyage for me. The woman on this card holds a flame in her hand, and the Little White Book advises, “Trust the fire of your spirit to lead you to the fountain that will fill your heart.”

(5) The Leo in me. What I desire and how I choose it.
THE MAGICIAN (Trump 1) – A very nice “take charge” kind of card that fits well with that Leo energy. I have to quote the LWB again on this one: “The energy of the Universe surrounds you, skills dwell within you. Be bold and use what is available.” No matter what I desire, I can choose to pursue it, knowing that I have what is needed to succeed.

(6) The Virgo in me. What I analyze and how I resolve it.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES – I tend to analyze that which exists in the physical, material world. I resolve such matters by using a practical, down-to-earth approach. I study how something works or why it works the way it does, in an effort to make it work better or to improve my situation (or someone else’s). Interestingly, Virgo is the sign of Health and Service. In this deck, the Queen of Pentacles is not alone. Her companion is there to emphasize the effectiveness of sharing. I think perhaps this references the way I like to exchange ideas and possibilities with other people as part of my analysis and resolution.

(7) The Libra in me. What I balance and how I balance it.
JUDGMENT (Trump 20) – It seems that I balance things based on whether I receive a “clear call from the Universe“ to do so. I seek balance at a higher level, in a broader sense than what many people might consider doing. I use my own judgment to bring things into balance, in a way that makes sense to me.

(8) The Scorpio in me. What I demand and how I demand it.
NINE OF SWORDS – What I demand is wisdom. I want to know and understand the meaning of things, the purpose of things, the whys and wherefores. The LWB for this deck tells me that “Wisdom must be earned. It is a reward, not a right.” I must “demand” wisdom only after  I have earned it.

(9) The Sagittarius in me. What I see and how I see it.
NINE OF WANDS – What I see is that I can only achieve change through perseverance through adversity, by standing firm and staying the course. I see this through the eyes of one who sometimes feels like I stand alone against forces that want to prevent me from achieving my goals or finding what I seek. I cannot relent or retreat, but must keep my eyes focused on the destination I choose.

(10) The Capricorn in me. What I gain and how I benefit from it.
KNIGHT OF CHALICES – The Knight of Chalices indicates that I can gain something that “thrills my heart,” that quenches my thirst and satisfies my emotional hunger. The benefits are obvious. I must make my way through rivers or lake of emotion if I want to gain that precious result.

(11) The Aquarius in me. What I know and how I know it.
THREE OF PENTACLES – What I know is that our spirits need nurturing and care just as the fruit and flowers of the earth require nourishment in order to grow. I know this because three little Earth elementals whispered it in my ear. Or perhaps because I have seen enough of life and the world to know this is so.

(12) The Pisces in me. What I believe and how I believe it.
TWO OF SWORDS – What an interesting image on this card: Two Air elementals hover on either side of a pendulum, possibly to help someone who has a question. What I believe is that we can receive clear guidance from Spirit when we are faced with choices and decisions.

This has been quite enjoyable for me and has given me a lot to think about!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Old English Tarot: Ace of Cups

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
Ace of Cups
by Helen Howell

The Old English Ace of Cups is not unlike its traditional brother the Rider Waite as they both show us a cup that is overflowing. If we remember that the Aces of the suits are just the beginning, they signify the potential of what the suit is about. Cups of course are the element Water and expressed through emotions, feelings, imagination and inspiration.

In the old English we see a cup that is full with ripe grapes, some dangle over the edge. There are also green leaves nestled in between the grapes. Green is a colour that often signifies expansion, growth, potential balance and creativity. The grapes, being fruit also symbolise for us abundance, but the pips inside which are the seeds, go on to represent new beginnings, the potential of something to become more.

When we look at this depiction then and keep in mind what the suit represents, then it gives us a message of a fullness of emotions and feelings. It indicates to us that a joyful time could be ahead, or it could simply be saying that one needs to understand the way they are feeling about something because those feelings are filling us right now. Because of the potential aspect of this card along with the colour green, it can indicate that a creative time is about to emerge that is full of potential.

All in all the Ace is a nice card to have especially from its positive point of view, as it tells us that a good time is ahead.

LWB says: Abundance, perfection, joy, fullness beauty, favourable outlook.
Reversed: Change, instability, unrequited love